FuelCell Energy should actually have generated a quarterly turnover of over 30 million USD in the second quarter, ending April 30th (fiscal year), but it was by then only about 16 million USD with a stated loss in the amount of about 31 million USD, or minus 0.08 USD per share. The management board nevertheless believes that they are on track to achieve a turnover of 300 million USD by 2025, and 1 billion USD by 2030. The order backlog was almost unchanged at about 1.3 billion USD. In the bank lies a formidable 490 million USD, for which a multitude of share placements (64 million new shares) is responsible – in proportion to the stock exchange value of 1.4 billion USD, a healthy basis, even if the question arises as to how these share placements were justified.
The future prospects of Bloom are fully intact and unchanged (over 30% growth p. a.) and allow for a very positive outlook: for 2022, over 1.1 billion USD turnover, cash flow positive, gross profit margin of 24% and on the way to the profit zone with strongly increasing backlog of orders and new complementary fields of activity (e.g. electrolysis). The first quarter, with a turnover of 201 million USD and a stated loss of 78.4 million USD (contains 26.3 million USD stock-based compensation), or minus 0.44 USD per share (GAAP), was disappointing at first glance. Large material deliveries to key customer SK ecoplant in South Korea was one reason for it.
What an outstanding view K. R. Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy, describes: Bloom is on track to achieve annual growth of up to 35 percent instead of the previous 25 to 30 percent, as the company is optimally positioned – technologically and in terms of business model – in H2 energy markets around the world.
The enormous interest in hydrogen and fuel cell technology has brought a lot of attention to the publicly listed companies in this field. Fuel cell producers like Bloom Energy, however, are finding it difficult to benefit to a comparable extent from the upswing in the H2 sector because their plants are still dependent on fossil gases for the time being. H2-international talked to the head of business development at Bloom Energy Germany, Dr. Stephan Reimelt, about some challenges involved in supplying decentralized energy through fuel cell plants.
Bloom Energy gained its South Korean customer and corporate partner of many years, SK ecoplant, as a shareholder and, thanks to the existing good working relationship, has even bagged a USD 4.5 billion order – for hardware and software and also service revenue – for 500 megawatts for the time being. This order should only be the start though and so ought to have further potential. SK ecoplant, part of the SK Group, is the largest energy corporation in South Korea and is planning to invest multiple billions in fuel cells and hydrogen, said to be about USD 25 billion.
Every day, more and more encouraging stories are popping up on news tickers, saying that companies, cities, towns and entire unions of countries, such as the EU, want to step on the gas in terms of climate action, with hydrogen definitely playing a crucial role in their efforts. While people are still sparring over what production method we should focus on, I am sure green hydrogen will win out in the end. Though we may need some of that blue gas to get to green.